Home  »  The Oxford Book of English Verse  »  315. From’ Comus’ iii. Sabrina

Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.

John Milton. 1608–1674

315. From’ Comus’ iii. Sabrina

The Spirit sings:SABRINA fair 
  Listen where thou art sitting 
Under the glassie, cool, translucent wave, 
  In twisted braids of Lillies knitting 
The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair,         5
  Listen for dear honour’s sake, 
  Goddess of the silver lake, 
                     Listen and save! 
Listen and appear to us, 
In name of great Oceanus,  10
By the earth-shaking Neptune’s mace, 
And Tethys grave majestick pace, 
By hoary Nereus wrincled look, 
And the Carpathian wisards hook, 
By scaly Tritons winding shell,  15
And old sooth-saying Glaucus spell, 
By Leucothea’s lovely hands, 
And her son that rules the strands, 
By Thetis tinsel-slipper’d feet, 
And the Songs of Sirens sweet,  20
By dead Parthenope’s dear tomb, 
And fair Ligea’s golden comb, 
Wherwith she sits on diamond rocks 
Sleeking her soft alluring locks, 
By all the Nymphs that nightly dance  25
Upon thy streams with wily glance, 
Rise, rise, and heave thy rosie head 
From thy coral-pav’n bed, 
And bridle in thy headlong wave, 
Till thou our summons answered have.  30
                       Listen and save! 
Sabrina replies:By the rushy-fringèd bank, 
Where grows the Willow and the Osier dank, 
  My sliding Chariot stayes, 
Thick set with Agat, and the azurn sheen  35
Of Turkis blew, and Emrauld green 
  That in the channell strayes, 
Whilst from off the waters fleet 
Thus I set my printless feet 
O’re the Cowslips Velvet head,  40
  That bends not as I tread, 
Gentle swain at thy request 
  I am here.